Huzzah! After a long time of having a broken theme and struggling with a complicated photo database and gallery plugin that wasn’t updated to the latest versions of WordPress, I gave up. And it’s just as well. I could never get the plugin working properly and things seemed to vanish from the theme without explanation — probably because I monkeyed with something in the code. It’s the danger of a little knowledge as opposed to enough.
The good part it I finally managed to upgrade my installation, found a nice theme that works well (Anaconda), and a really solid gallery plug in (NextGen Gallery) that is simple enough for me to use.
Overall the result is positively frightening. I declare myself the winner of this round!